Introducing a firm set of compliance standards to your franchise-based business is critical to the survival and success of your franchise brand.
No matter how much pre-screening you do prior to partnering with a new franchisee, the saying ‘actions speak louder than words’ rings true more often than not. Do you ever find that the value your franchisees actually deliver can be a bit hit and miss? You’ve set franchise standards that you expect all franchisees to adhere to, but you have a hunch the worst performers are probably not complying with them and are actually undermining your brand. Those slipping standards in your poorly run restaurants, hotels or coffee shops are damaging your reputation beyond repair and combined with the fast-paced expansion targets that are typical in this sector – control over your franchise brand starts to nosedive out of your reach.
If not enough attention is given to maintaining compliance and brand standards from the get-go, franchisors operating in hospitality will undoubtedly start facing some sleepless nights. However, an independent eye on franchise compliance can be just what a franchise business needs in order to survive and thrive.
Ok, so how?
The creation and introduction of a rule book on your agreed franchise compliance standards, is the first step you as a franchise owner should take. Areas of compliance can cover a wide spectrum in the franchised hospitality and restaurant sector: from customer safety standards to operational requirements and brand protection.
Laying down your set of franchise compliance standards does not necessarily result in those standards being upheld. As well-formulated as that 800 page code of conduct document may be, it will not in itself be the solution to your aforementioned problems. We live in a busy world, so in truth many of your franchisees and/or their employees will never have the time to fully absorb all of your compliance protocol document’s content. Even if they do, it’s unrealistic to expect them to remember each compliance by heart.
Many franchise owners will attempt to solve this problem by appointing area and regional managers to examine and audit the franchise compliance standards of its franchisees. But this offers you a less dedicated approach (either in terms of time spent on the task, or of the focus given to it above other responsibilities). Therefore you typically find that it lacks valuable feedback and makes auditing compliance less worthwhile.
But through asking the right questions and allocating an appropriate score to each – according to the criticality of the topic concerned and / or the franchise’s objectives – a whole world of data analysis opens up. Questions ranging from, “Has a Fire Evacuation been completed and recorded within the last 3 months?” to “Are the products on site approved supplier products only?” will lead to visibility of the overall and in-depth level of franchise compliance across your business. Well formulated evaluation and compliance questions are the backbone to evaluating current compliance standards, which can otherwise be intangible. The ‘most failed’ questions can indicate wider issues within your business structure, whilst overall scores can encourage recognition and reward for those franchisees that perform well.
Beyond this, being able to achieve a higher standard of compliance is the key driver to undertaking compliance reviews and taking on a 3rd party supplier. Franchise businesses should not merely be concerned about the percentage of compliance each franchisee achieves, they should aim to improve levels of compliance where they currently fall below standards. It’s a constructive rather than punishment mentality. Franchisees look to join a franchise brand that is keen to help them succeed and they look to their area and regional managers for support and empowerment.
It is the independent compliance auditor that offers real specialisation in identifying finer details through an objective approach, uncovering and exposing issues where they exist. Beyond this, they have the capability to address the complexity of franchise based compliance by proposing actionable solutions through business coaching that enable improvement and growth.
Our 360 degree compliance solution encompasses all areas of franchise compliance and is typically tailored to every customer’s needs.
Here’s the deal:
- Stock Control
- Cash Control / Payment Programs
- Record Keeping – Invoicing / Deliveries
- Product Quality – Preferred Suppliers / Approved Products
- Equipment Usage
- Margin control
- Revenue & Loss prevention
Brand protection controls
- Advertising / Marketing
- Customer experience
If your franchise is struggling with any area of compliance and brand standards, or if you feel you are losing the required level of control, speak to Venners today to find out how we can help.
Call 01279 620866.